Daniel Ricciardo is likely to wait until 2018 to make a decision about whether he stays with Red Bull Racing, with the Australian looking to find out how competitive the RB14 is before considering his future with the team.
Ricciardo’s current contract with Red Bull expires at the end of 2018, and whilst Max Verstappen has already committed his own future with the team, Christian Horner has been very eager to hold down his other driver to a long-term contract with the Milton Keynes-back squad.
However, Ricciardo insists he will not be signing any contract extension this side of Christmas, and he wants to keep all his options open just in case next years Red Bull is not as quick as he hopes.
“I’m sure there will be a few discussions in the next week or two, especially with the team,” said Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi. “But once I get home and over Christmas, I want to switch off from racing.
“I would like to know something earlier, but I don’t need to do it in the winter. I highly doubt I’ll be signing any dotted lines over the next month unless I get… no, probably not even. I was going to say unless I get a ridiculous offer but probably not even.
“It’s not about the offer, it’s about who is going to have the best car for then 2019. It’s worth me seeing how the start of the year goes.
“I don’t want to be too clever and hope I have every option possible. I think I’ve got enough time on my side to sit it out a bit.”
Ricciardo knows the next contract he signs is likely to cover the peak years of his career, so he says he does not want to be rushed into making an important decision.
“It’s a reason why I’m afraid to rush the decision,” added Ricciardo. “Whatever I sign, it’s unlikely going to be a one-year [deal], it’s likely to be a multiple-year deal I’m assuming.
“The peak years of my career are probably the next deal I’ll sign so I want to make sure I maximise that with my driving ability. It’s why I’m going to take my time.”